The Poly boys’ basketball team caught their second loss of the season—to another national top five team—as they fell to Chicago power Whitney Young at the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts, 85-52.

Poly (17-2, 6-0) struggled to contain the nation’s best high school center, Jahlil Okafaor. The junior is 6’11”, 260 pounds, with footwork as quick as a point guards and the leaping ability of a much lighter athlete. He finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and six big dunks.

At halftime, Whitney Young led 32-20, as Poly’s defensive effort looked solid, but they struggled on offense. In the third quarter, everything worked for the Dolphins, who hit four of the five threes they shot, making it even harder to lock down on Okafor, who had developed into a willing passer when double-teamed.

Roschon Prince had 13 points but struggled offensively, and Jordan Bell had 10. A bright spot for the Jackrabbits was Kameron Murrell, who came off the bench and played the same kind of stabilizing minutes he’s been putting in since Poly’s Pac Shores Tournament appearance to start their season. He hit several three-pointers in the second half, trying to spark a Poly run, and finished with a team-high 15 points.

The Jackrabbits will make the long flight home from the east coast while licking their wounds and preparing for the second round of league play this week. They’ll visit Jordan on Wednesday and Cabrillo on Friday. Poly’s lone nonleague game remaining will be a tough one, on February 2nd against St. John Bosco at Mater Dei’s annual Nike Extravaganza.

  • Sports Guy Mike Guardabascio has been writing professionally for a decade, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards and is the author of the historical book "Football in Long Beach."

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